Physical Therapy - California Children's Services (CCS)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sawyer is 17 months and has recently started walking. Around 15 months he is starting to stand on his own, cruise, and walk with us holding his hands, but he needed more assistance to get him to walk on his own. At his one year checkup with our Orthopedic surgeon he recommended enrolling him in physical therapy. Every state has a program setup for children who qualify to see a physical therapist. In California it's called California Children's Services (CCS). Once your child is approved they are eligible for care until the age of 21. All of this is free of charge! Yup, you heard that right...FREE!

From my own experience this is a long process. My doctor told me from the beginning to make sure to followup as many times as needed to keep the ball rolling. We started by filling out paper work coinciding with our doctor to start the case. About two weeks later I was resent the paper work to fill out again. After I turned everything in I gave it a good week and called to make sure they had everything they needed from me. I was given an update at that time and it looked like we were just waiting for the therapist to decide if Sawyer qualified. I ended up calling two more times to push things along. Everyone I talked to was super helpful and nice. It took almost two months total to hear back, but Sawyer was approved! It was a really happy and tearful moment. Getting one on one attention is just what Sawyer needed.

We met with the physical therapist for the first time when Sawyer was 14 months. He did some activities with Sawyer to see how he moved and what he could do. We made goals of standing and walking. They look at a 6 month period of time if they decide therapy is needed. If they don't think therapy is needed they meet with you once a year. He recommended twice a week for 45 min sessions. It took another month to get a prescription over to our doctor and for the final go ahead. I'm really excited for Sawyer and super thankful this is a service the state provides. Having a child who needs more then the ordinary is costly. Any help is always appreciated. Plus, Sawyer LOVES going to therapy. To him it's playtime and he usually does not want to leave.

I'm writing this post for parents of children with Fibular Hemimelia (FH), but I also hope that it can help others as well. When I first learned about Sawyer's condition I searched the internet for any information I could find. Hearing from other parents in our situation helped me the most. I strive to do the same.


I want to end on a light note. I think it's super important to find humor in your everyday life. Fibular Hemimelia is no exception. In our everyday conversations I find myself pausing and thinking...did I just say that? Here is a list any parent with a child with a prosthetic can relate to...

"I can't find Sawyer's leg"

"His leg is in the baby bag, my purse, _____________ fill in the blank"

"Can you pick up Sawyer's leg it dropped under the table" Said frequently at restaurants.

This picture is a classic Where's Waldo moment. Can you spot Sawyer's leg? Apparently he thought mommy needed help cleaning out his baby bag.

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